When I tell people that I write a blog on time management from a Christian perspective, 99% of them have the same response. They’re nice on the surface, but I know they’re thinking to themselves that Life of a Steward seems a little too narrowly focused.
They have a vision in their mind about what productivity entails – filing Email, organizing your workspace, and planning out your days. It seems a little uptight, and they never really get interested.
To them, time stewardship seems nitpicky. It seems like something for tightly wound people who love neatness and organization. Sure, it can be fine for some people – but it’s not up their alley.
If that describes your thoughts – I want to change your mind.
Having a Life that Matters
Yes, I’m concerned about using my hours, minutes, and even seconds well. But this isn’t out of some grudging acceptance of the biblical command to redeem the time. I think about minutes and seconds, because they are the building blocks of our life.
That’s what time stewardship is about. It’s about making an impact. It’s about living a life that truly matters.
Our culture has a near-universal desire to live in a way that makes a difference. This is true for believers and unbelievers. Even when I was a teenager who played hours and hours of video games a day, I still wanted to live a life that mattered. (Man, I’d like to travel back in time and have a long talk with my teenaged self).
Steps toward Our Goals
Some may think that they want to live a life that matters but don’t want to worry about the nitpicky, uptight time management stuff. They want their life to be meaningful, but they don’t care about the minutes and seconds.
That’s like saying that you love playing a song on the piano, but you don’t care about being nitpicky and hitting the right notes or the right rhythms. It’s like saying that you want to love your wife like Christ loves the church, but you don’t care about actually doing loving things like spending time with her, giving her gifts, or verbally expressing your love.
How else do you play a song – except by playing the right notes at the right times? Those small, “nitpicky” actions make up the song.
How do you live a life that matters? It’s not simply making a decision to do so. It’s living out that decision in regular, consistent actions.
Setting a goal for your life is not the same as achieving it. Setting a destination is not the same as making the journey.
One major decision can give you a target. But getting there will take a lot of tiny decisions: step after step after step after step.
Taking the Small Steps
Having a life that matters is ultimately about figuring out which direction to move – and then effectively moving in that direction.
It’s not about the minutiae of Email or day timers or filing. It’s not about iPhone apps or manila folders. Too many people think that’s where productivity begins and ends – but nothing could be further from the truth.
Productivity – having a life that matters – is about setting goals for where you want to go.
It’s about planning out steps to get there.
It’s about thinking of your schedule ahead of time in order to keep moving and not spinning your wheels.
It’s about reviewing your progress and making sure you’re still pointed in the right direction.
That’s why I’m excited about time management concepts, systems, and tips. It’s so that we know what action is best to take now. Because life happens through these small decisions.
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